Republican lawmakers are pressing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reinstate data on defensive gun use to its website after removing it at the request of gun control advocates.
Reps. August Pfluger, R-Texas, and Elise Stefanik, R-NY, sent a letter to CDC director Rochelle Walensky on Monday requesting more information about how the CDC decided to remove the data, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Fox News Digital. The CDC removed references to a study it commissioned following a series of 2021 meetings with gun control advocates.
“Public trust in the CDC is already at an all-time low. Now, we find out the supposed ‘non-partisan agency’ is removing information that gun control activists don’t like. The CDC’s own study showed that Americans have relied on their own guns for self-defense upwards of 2.5 million times in a year. Congress needs to act and put guardrails in place to protect from this behavior,” Pfluger told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“The CDC must immediately end their blatant politicization of the facts in pursuit of the Far Left anti-gun agenda,” Stefanik said in another statement to Fox. “The Biden Administration is shamefully lying to the American people and hiding the facts of how law-abiding citizens use their Constitutionally-protected Second Amendment rights to keep our families and communities safe.”
The pair’s letter goes on to seek answers about the CDC’s process for removing the data, such as whether it consulted any outside groups before removing it, and how it plans to provide accurate defensive gun use data for Americans.
The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
The CDC-commissioned study, authored by Florida State University emeritus professor Gary Kleck, found that instances of defensive gun use take place anywhere from 60,000 times to 2.5 million times per year in the U.S.
Mark Bryant, executive director of the pro-gun control Gun Violence Archive, told CDC officials that the data needed to be “killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again” in an email and subsequent meeting.
While CDC officials initially resisted his request, they ultimately agreed to remove the study from their website.
Pfluger and Stefanik argue that Americans’ confidence in the CDC is already at an “all-time low” following its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this only worsens the issue.
“Opinions of the nation’s institutions continue to be low due to overt politicization — the CDC censoring public health facts at the behest of gun control advocates will only add to the mistrust. The removal of a study – commissioned by the CDC – indicates that the CDC is avoiding the responsibility bestowed to them by Congress,” the pair wrote in the letter. “This censorship panders to the activist groups who aim to cover up the fact that much of the firearm industry prevails because consumers seek the ability to protect their life, liberty, and property.”